CAMBRIDGE, Mass. H Genzyme Corp. said Wednesday that itacquired Medix Biotech Inc., an antibody manufacturer basedin Foster City, Calif,. in a cash deal valued in excess of $11million.

Medix, a profitable manufacturer of immunoassay testcomponents with about $5 million in annual sales, was acquiredfrom Biodor U.S. Holding Co., a unit of Biodor Holding Ltd.,which is based near Basel, Switzerland.

Genzyme was attracted by Medix's production capabilities inmonoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, and very good relationsas a supplier to immunochemistry product makers, said DavidFleming, president of Genzyme Diagnostics, one of Cambridge-based Genzyme's four divisions. Genzyme Diagnostics has salesof about $35 million a year. Medix also supplies customreagents for use with diagnostic test equipment.

"The combined entity is uniquely positioned, with establishedlong-term customer relationships, vendor agreements, andbroad chemistry, immunochemistry and immunology productsline, to become a premier supplier of reagents to themanufacturers of diagnostic kits," Fleming said.

Medix becomes a subsidiary of Genzyme Diagnostics, and itsmanagement, 34 employees and its Foster City facility will beretained, Fleming said. Medix's products will continue to besold under the Medix name. "Medix is running extremely well.We don't want to tinker with it," Fleming said.

The acquisition was an important step in Genzyme Diagnostics'planned expansion of a product line aimed at testmanufacturers. "We'll still look at strategic acquisitions" inaddition to plans for internal growth, Fleming said.

Medix plans to introduce this summer two new efforts in OEMtest kit products, involving pregnancy testing and tests fordrugs of abuse.

Both will be immunoassay-based, offering a rapid, one- or two-step process and simple instrumentation, but no dazzling newtechnology, said William Levia, Medix's president. "Medix is notknown for revolutionary, but we're good at commercializingbetter and cost-effective diagnostics."

Medix Biotech was founded in 1984 and acquired in 1989 byBiodor, which in Europe has interests in health care productsand fine chemicals

-- Ray Potter Senior Editor

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.